Are you suffering some unsettling symptoms, yet are stymied as to their cause? Believe it or not, symptoms as wide-ranging as pelvic pain and pressure, constipation, long or unusually heavy periods, and leg or back pain can all be linked to an often-unconsidered problem: uterine fibroids.
Most women have developed a fibroid by the time they reach 50 and are frequently unaware of it. Although they’re benign, fibroid tumors still have the potential to wreak havoc on your comfort, daily activities, and your cycle.
Fibroids grow in the uterine lining and can be so small they’re unnoticeable or they can be grapefruit-sized and impossible to ignore. Darin L. Weyhrich, MD, is an OB/GYN whose expertise includes a long history of successfully treating fibroids through a variety of innovative methods.
Why and how do fibroids develop?
Answers about what makes a woman more likely to get fibroids are still scarce, but some research points to a hormonal link. Estrogen, progesterone, and growth hormones have all been known to stimulate fibroid growth.
Another explanation involves genetic changes that uterine lining cells go through that may fuel fibroids.
How at-risk am I for developing fibroids?
Risk factors for developing fibroids include:
- Family history
- Early age for first menstruation (before age 12)
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Birth control use, especially oral contraceptives
- Unhealthy diet
- Alcohol use
If you’re of childbearing age, African American, or have a close family member who’s had fibroids, you’re more likely to develop them. A diet that’s meat-heavy, low in fruits and vegetables, and includes high-fat dairy and regular alcohol consumption can also contribute to fibroids.
What are my treatment options for fibroids?
Every woman’s different, which is why Dr. Weyhrich customizes his treatment and discusses with you in detail your history of fibroids and symptoms. Often you don’t even know you have a fibroid, but Dr. Weyhrich frequently finds them during a routine care appointment.
If he detects fibroids, he schedules you for an imaging test, such as an MRI, X-ray, or ultrasound. Dr. Weyhrich believes that a wait-and-see approach is fine if your fibroids aren’t bothering you. And if you’re postmenopausal, they may disappear all by themselves.
If you’re experiencing uncomfortable symptoms, Dr. Weyhrich typically performs one of three common treatments:
- Uterine fibroid embolization
Some women prefer a hysterectomy because with the removal of the uterus, the chance of fibroid growth is reduced to nearly zero.
If you don’t want to go the hysterectomy route, Dr. Weyhrich can perform a procedure where he surgically removes only the fibroid. This is called a myomectomy. He follows up the surgery by prescribing medication for you that can help to lower the chances of future fibroid growth.
The least invasive treatment Dr. Weyhrich offers is uterine fibroid embolization, a procedure that makes fibroids diminish in size by cutting off their blood supply.
No matter what treatment you opt for, it is carefully and compassionately managed by Dr. Weyhrich.
Prepare to feel better
Dr. Weyhrich and the rest of our team are here to help you make the most informed choices about how to deal with your fibroids. Call our office today to schedule an appointment. You’ll be on your way to feeling empowered about managing your own health and finally freeing yourself from the discomfort of fibroids.